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Harry Beresford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harry Beresford
Beresford in 1909
Henry William Walter Horseley Beresford

(1863-11-04)4 November 1863
London, England
Died4 October 1944(1944-10-04) (aged 80)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California
Other namesHarry J. Morgan
Years active1880–1938
(m. 1897; div. 1909)
  • Edith Wylie (m. 19??)

Harry J. Beresford (4 November 1863 – 4 October 1944) was an English-born actor on the American stage and in motion pictures. He used the professional name Harry J. Morgan early in his career.

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Harry Beresford began his acting career in 1885, as a member of the chorus of Little Jack Sheppard at the Gaiety Theatre, London. After moving to the United States in 1886, he performed throughout the country in repertory theatre and with various touring companies—including his own—for the next 30 years. His first major Broadway theatre success was in 1919, in Boys Will Be Boys, which was soon followed by a starring role in Shavings (1920). In August 1922, he created the role of the alcoholic Clem Hawley in Don Marquis's comedy The Old Soak, a character Beresford made famous and played for two years. He won praise for his character performances in the Broadway productions of Stolen Fruit (1925) and The Perfect Alibi (1928).[1]

Between 1926 and 1938, Beresford appeared as a supporting actor in more than 50 Hollywood films, including Doctor X (1932), The Sign of the Cross (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933), I Cover the Waterfront (1933), David Copperfield (1935) and Follow the Fleet (1936). He made his final film appearance in 1938, and received original story credit for the 1939 horse racing film, Long Shot.[2]

Personal life

Beresford was born in London 4 November 1863, to Henry George and Sarah Christie.[3] His professional name was Harry J. Morgan at the time of his first marriage, to actress Emma Dunn, on 4 October 1897, in Chicago.[4] They divorced on 10 February 1909, in New York City, and Dunn was awarded sole custody of their young daughter, Dorothy.[5][6] Beresford married actress Edith D. Wylie,[7][8] who had appeared opposite him in the play, The Other House. They were married for the remainder of his life.[1]

Dunn, who likewise worked in Hollywood pictures in her later years, recalled testing for the role of a bullied wife in a 1935 film. When the casting director said she was too small for the part, she asked to be seen beside the actor who would play her husband—and discovered it was Harry Beresford.[9] In 1936, columnist Jimmie Fidler reported that Beresford, then aged 72, had collapsed while working on an RKO Pictures soundstage. Unconscious for two hours, he was cared for by Dunn, who happened to be working on a set nearby.[6]

Beresford died 4 October 1944, at his home in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, of a heart ailment.[1] He was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.[10]

Theatre credits

Theatrical poster for Harry Beresford in Our New Man (c. 1904)
Date Title Role Notes
December 1885 – Little Jack Sheppard Chorus member Gaiety Theatre, London; debut[1]
November 1893 – Walker, London Andrew McPhail National tour including several weeks at the Grand Opera House, Chicago[11][12]
30 November – 6 December 1902 The Wrong Mr. Wright Mr. Sites National tour beginning at Morosco's Burbank Theatre, Los Angeles[13][14]
13 October – November 1919 Boys Will Be Boys Peep O'Day Belmont Theatre, New York City[15]
16 February – June 1920 Shavings J. Edward Winslow Knickerbocker Theatre, New York City[16]
22 August 1922 – August 1923 The Old Soak Clem Hawley Plymouth Theatre, New York City[17]
June 1924 She Stoops to Conquer Aminadab Empire Theatre, New York City[18]
1924 Out-a-Luck Touring production[1][19]
February 3 – February 1925 The Undercurrent Jason Mills Cort Theatre, New York City[20]
7 October – December 1925 Stolen Fruit Ballou Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre, New York City[21]
27 November 1928 – July 1929 The Perfect Alibi P. C. Ballet Charles Hopkins Theatre, New York City[22]
3 December 1929 – July 1930 Michael and Mary P. C. Tuff Charles Hopkins Theatre, New York City[23]


Harry Beresford in Doctor X (1932)
Year Title Role Notes
1926 The Quarterback Elmer Stone Film debut [2]
1931 Charlie Chan Carries On Kent [2]
Finn and Hattie Street cleaner [2]
Heaven on Earth Captain Lilly [2]
Scandal Sheet Arnold [2]
The Secret Call Frank Kelly [2]
Sob Sister Pa Stevens [2]
Sooky Mr. Willoughby [2]
Up Pops the Devil Mr. Platt [2]
1932 Dance Team Herbert Wilson [2]
Doctor X Dr. Duke [2]
Forgotten Commandments Priest [2]
High Pressure Dr. Rudolph [2]
The Match King Christian Hobe [2]
Scandal for Sale Brownie [2]
The Sign of the Cross Flavius [2]
So Big Adam Ooms [2]
The Strange Love of Molly Louvain Taxi driver [2]
Two Seconds [2]
1933 Bondage [2]
Bureau of Missing Persons The Man [2]
College Coach Professor [2]
Dinner at Eight Fosdick [2]
Ever in My Heart Eli [2]
I Cover the Waterfront Old Chris [2]
Little Women Doctor Bangs [2]
The Mind Reader Blaney [2]
Murders in the Zoo Professor Evans [2]
Night Flight Roblet [2]
1934 Cleopatra Soothsayer [2]
Fashions of 1934 Bookseller [2]
The Friends of Mr. Sweeney Claude [2]
The Little Minister John Spens [2]
The Merry Frinks Mr. Brumby [2]
1935 Anna Karenina Matve [2]
David Copperfield Dr. Chillip [2]
A Dog of Flanders Sacristan [2]
I Found Stella Parish James [2]
I'll Love You Always Henry Irving Clegg [2]
Page Miss Glory Kimball [2]
Seven Keys to Baldpate Lige Quimby [2]
1936 Follow the Fleet Captain Hickey [2]
Grand Jury Tom Evans [2]
In His Steps Davidson [2]
Klondike Annie Brother Bowser [2]
Postal Inspector Ritter [2]
1937 The Go Getter M. M. Baker [2]
The Prince and the Pauper The Watch [2]
She Asked for It Mr. Switch [2]
She's No Lady Uncle John [2]
They Won't Forget Confederate Soldier [2]
1938 Newsboys' Home O'Dowd Final film [2]
1939 Long Shot Original story[2][24]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Harry Beresford, Stage, Film Actor". The New York Times. 5 October 1944. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb "Harry Beresford". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Harry Beresford". U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936–2007 [database on-line]. Provo, Utah, US; Operations, Inc., 2015; retrieved 2016-04-19.
  4. ^ "Harry J. Morgan". Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, Utah, US: Operations, Inc., 2011. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  5. ^ "Emma Dunn Stokes". National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 2 January 1906 – 31 March 1925; Roll #: 2321; Volume #: Roll 2321 - Certificates: 317850-318349, 29 Jun 1923 – 30 Jun 1923. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, Utah, US: Operations, Inc., 2007. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  6. ^ a b Fidler, Jimmie (10 August 1936). "Hollywood Shots". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Actors' Society Notes". The Billboard. 26 December 1908. p. 19. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Edith Wylie, stage actress". J. Willis Sayre Photographs. University Libraries, University of Washington. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  9. ^ Fidler, Jimmie (10 January 1939). "Hollywood Shots". Reading Eagle. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  10. ^ Resting Places
  11. ^ "'Walker, London' in the City". Chicago Tribune. 12 November 1893. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Plays and Players". The Illustrated American. New York. 17 March 1894. p. 297. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  13. ^ "At the Theatres". The Capital. Los Angeles: The Capital Publishing Company. 29 November 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  14. ^ "In the Theatres". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 22 January 1903. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Boys Will Be Boys". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Shavings". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  17. ^ "The Old Soak". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  18. ^ "She Stoops to Conquer". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  19. ^ "Stage-News". Chicago Tribune. 28 September 1924. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  20. ^ "The Undercurrent". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Stolen Fruit". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  22. ^ "The Perfect Alibi". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Michael and Mary". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  24. ^ "Long Shot". Internet Archive. Retrieved 19 April 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 September 2023, at 23:31
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